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Mayor de Blasio Announces Additional Opportunities for Sandy-Impacted Residents to Enroll in Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

May 20, 2016

New programs to supplement workforce programs that have already connected 680 Sandy-impacted New Yorkers to high-quality employment, part of Mayor de Blasio’s 2014 recovery overhaul

NEW YORK––After successfully connecting 680 Sandy-impacted New Yorkers to high-quality employment, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City’s Sandy Recovery Workforce1 initiative would be making additional free pre-apprenticeship training opportunities available to low- and middle-income residents of Sandy-impacted areas. Mayor de Blasio launched Sandy Workforce1 as part of his Sandy recovery overhaul in 2014.

“Since the beginning, we have been committed not just to our recovery, but to providing opportunities to New Yorkers in our hardest-hit neighborhoods. Build it Back has thus far connected 680 Sandy-impacted New Yorkers to high-quality employment, including many to the construction trades through union pre-apprenticeship vouchers. We are now increasing our capacity so that more Sandy-impacted New Yorkers can access these life changing opportunities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

For the first time, select pre-apprenticeship training programs will host certain classes in these Sandy-impacted communities. The program is part of the broader mission of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations to connect Sandy-impacted residents with high-quality middle class careers in the unionized construction industry and jobs related to the recovery and rebuilding of these communities. To date, 680 Sandy residents have been hired through Sandy Recovery Workforce1 and Build it Back for jobs such as construction managers, procurement managers, residential construction inspectors, administrative assistants, and customer service representatives.

Jamel Dickerson, a Far Rockaway resident, graduate of Construction Skills and current member of the NYC District Council of Carpenters, learned about the voucher program at his son's kindergarten PTA meeting. Dickerson said, “I have great outlook on life: I have a pension to look forward to, as well as annuity, and work with the union, which gives a great living wage that you take home. For Christmas, my son wanted a helmet and a hammer just like me. It seems like he wants to be a Carpenter now. It just makes you have so much pride building something."

As a result of collaboration between the City, the NYC Building and Construction Trades Council and pre-apprenticeship training providers, New Yorkers will be able to enroll in designated classes.

The pre-apprenticeship offerings include:

  • A class in May which will have its first week hosted in the Rockaway Workforce1 Career Center, run by The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills.
  • A class in June run by NYC District Council of Carpenters BuildingWorks open to Sandy-impacted communities.
  • A class in July for women in Sandy-impacted communities run by Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW).

In addition, Sandy Recovery Workforce1 will continue its partnership with New York City Helmets to Hardhats, which serves as a direct entry pathway into construction unions for veterans. Each provider has New York State Department of Labor (DOL) approved direct entry agreements with DOL-registered and New York City Building and Construction Trade Council-affiliated apprenticeship programs.

All pre-apprenticeship vouchers are funded through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR). To date, 84 vouchers have been distributed and 66 people have graduated from the programs using our vouchers, preparing them for union work as Roofers, Metal Lathers, Painters, Laborers, and Carpenters.

“As we look ahead to the completion of Build it Back, we will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues at SBS to create meaningful career opportunities for residents of Sandy-impacted neighborhoods. Sandy Recovery Workforce1 is a critical part of HRO’s efforts to rebuild these communities. This program has proven to be a tremendous resource for residents, connecting them to training opportunities and employment. The skills acquired through construction pre-apprenticeship programs and the jobs secured through Workforce1 will last long after the recovery finishes, continuing to provide returns to impacted communities,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery.

“At SBS, we’re committed to delivering essential services to New Yorkers so that they can access local, high-quality employment opportunities,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “This is especially true for our Sandy-impacted New Yorkers, 680 of whom we’ve already connected to jobs with our Sandy Recovery Workforce1 & Build it Back initiatives. These additional pre-apprenticeship training programs will further help to rebuild the lives of countless New Yorkers.”

Residents in Sandy-impacted zip codes interested in taking advantage of these pre-apprenticeship opportunities should visit their nearest Sandy Recovery Workforce1 office at Sandy-impacted zip codes are:

  • Staten Island: 10301, 10302, 10303, 10304, 10305, 10306, 10307, 10308, 10310, 10312
  • Brooklyn: 11203, 11214, 11223, 11224, 11229, 11231, 11234, 11235, 11236
  • Queens: 11102, 11414, 11420, 11422, 11433, 11434, 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694, 11697
  • Manhattan: 10002, 10009, 10029, 10038 ,10039
  • Bronx: 10474

“Superstorm Sandy shattered communities in Brooklyn and across New York City, displacing families from their homes and forcing people to lose their jobs,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “By supporting men and women who want to work rebuilding their neighborhoods, the Sandy Recovery Workforce1 initiative is helping to create a community stronger than before the storm, with hundreds of workers prepared for construction jobs that provide good wages and benefits to those given the opportunity. I am proud to be involved in this critical partnership with the City to build Brooklyn back the right way.”

State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "I commend Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to revitalizing Sandy impacted communities. The expansion of the Sandy Recovery Workforce1 pre-apprenticeship program gives community members the skills and real-life experience they need to secure a career. In addition to promoting job creation and economic stimulation in our community, the availability of these opportunities to men and women alike also support gender equality in the construction job force. The collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the City, The NYC Building and Construction Trades Council and pre-apprenticeship training providers is truly a win for our community."

"The importance of being able to assist the residents of high impacted areas from Super-storm Sandy must remain a priority, the Mayor's Office and their noble initiatives and programs – especially the construction pre-apprenticeship program – will assuredly provide for skills that will long last into the future that can assist our constituents in the years to come. The high impact areas of Sandy must always remain a focal point of our attention and the residents of these areas must always be an important priority and allotted tools continue to allow our residents to flourish," said Assembly Member Jamie Williams.

“When we speak about building resiliency, we must be cognizant that physical resiliency is not enough; we need human resiliency, too. It is imperative that we help residents be more than just victims. There are plenty of employment opportunities created by Sandy, and the residents affected by the storm should be the ones given the opportunity to fill those positions. Residents who live in the communities hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy should not just be witnesses to their recovery, but active participants in it. In order for residents to take advantage of those opportunities, they need to be prepared. They require the proper education and training. While there is still so much that needs to be done to help communities victimized by Sandy regain what they lost and become more resilient against future storms, I commend the City administration and organized labor for collaborating with elected officials from impacted areas to create career pathways for Sandy survivors, to improve access to job training, and good, union jobs,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

Council Member Donovan Richards said, "Many of my residents in the Rockaways are still trying to pick up the pieces after Sandy and find stable work that pays a living wage, so the additional free training opportunities at the Rockaway Workforce1 Career Center will provide them with the skills to find consistent employment. Bringing more training and job opportunities to the Rockaways is essential to the peninsula's success and the key to the bright future we have ahead of us. I'd like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Amy Peterson and Commissioner Bishop for their continued focus on improving the lives of Rockaway residents and all Sandy-impacted areas."

“Resilient communities require jobs with competitive wages and training for real careers. Every time the City funds a project it creates an opportunity to invest in people’s lives. The Sandy Recovery Workforce1 initiative is a model for making sure investments in recovery create value for residents. I’m especially pleased to see an emphasis on women in non-traditional careers, pre-apprenticeship for unions, and delivering services within impacted communities. The people I represent in Sandy-affected areas need this program and more like it,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

Council Member Daneek Miller said, “The jobs created through the Build it Back program continue to revitalize the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and I am pleased to see they will be expanded. These new apprenticeship programs will provide quality jobs that will have a direct impact on the families who have been most affected by the storm. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Gregg Bishop and Director Amy Peterson for all their efforts on this initiative.”

“I am very pleased that the de Blasio administration has recognized that we must continue to help residents of Sandy impacted areas put their disrupted lives back together by providing high quality employment opportunities,” said Council Member Alan Maisel.

Gary LaBarbera, President of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York said, “Because of this initiative between the City of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, dozens of residents in Sandy-impacted areas are now on a pathway to middle-class careers in the unionized construction industry, which offers training and education, pays good wages with health benefits and retirement security and a safe work environment. The Sandy Build it Back program is not only rebuilding homes, it is rebuilding communities.”

Nicole Bertran, Executive Vice President of The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills, said, "The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills is proud to have placed more than 50 adult residents of Sandy-impacted areas of the city into apprenticeship programs jointly sponsored by union affiliates of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. These residents are working as carpenters, laborers, painters, plumbers, roofers and iron workers. Our pre-apprenticeship training has provided critical skills and direct entry access to meaningful careers in the unionized construction industry to these residents. With our third cycle underway in Far Rockaway, we have demonstrated our commitment to the Sandy Build it Back initiative and are honored to be a part of the city's rebuilding efforts.”

Kathleen Culhane, President of Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), said, “Nontraditional Employment for Women is excited for the opportunity to continue its work with the City to provide access to building trades careers to women in Sandy-impacted areas. NEW has been placing women in skilled trades careers that transform women’s lives and the lives of their families through our partnership with the building trades for 38 years. NEW is pleased to dedicate its July training class to women rebuilding their lives and their communities as part of the Build it Back program.”

Walter Warzecha, Director of Training for the NYC District Council of Carpenters Training Center, said, “We are not just preparing people for jobs, we are preparing them for long-term careers in a skilled trade. Already, more than 30 individuals from Sandy affected areas have enrolled in BuildingWorks and so far, 15 have joined the NYC District Council Carpenters Apprenticeship as a result of the Sandy Recovery Workforce 1 and Build it Back initiatives. We look forward to continuing our partnership and expect to offer career opportunities to more individuals from these areas.”

Anne Malloy Trenkle, Executive Director of New York City Helmets to Hardhats, said, "NYC Helmets to Hardhats is proud to partner with the City to assist all Sandy impacted military veterans who actively seek a career in the unionized construction industry".

Onleilove Alston, Executive Director of Faith in New York, said, "We are excited to see that this important opportunity for Sandy residents to be put back to work rebuilding their own communities is being extended and expanded. This is an important step towards assuring that the victims of Sandy are made whole again. It is essential that Sandy victims continue to be connected not just to jobs, but to careers paying dignified wages."

Pastor Arthur Davenport of First Church of God, Far Rockaway, said, "Faith communities in the Rockaways and around New York City are excited to hear about the administration’s goal to expand and extend the commitment to providing middle class careers opportunities for Sandy impacted communities in rebuilding our own neighborhoods. We look forward to working with the administration to continue to spread the word and grow the success of these important opportunities in the coming months."
Matt Ryan, Executive Director of ALIGN, said, "We commend Mayor de Blasio's commitment to rebuild after Sandy and create new opportunities for impacted communities. Community residents need more than jobs, they need career opportunities. Expanded pre-apprenticeships are so important because these programs create pathways to a career in construction. ALIGN looks forward to ongoing partnership with the administration, training providers, and local community organizations to ensure success."

Lawanda Johnson-Gainey President of Carleton Manor Tenant Association said, "The pre-apprentice model is a good model, and so far it is good, but we need to make sure there is more effective outreach in our community and in our developments. I would say that they should hire more staff in the Rockaways to get more of the word out and recruit our public housing residents, we want to make sure our residents have good access to more jobs."

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